Day 118 – Wind Easing

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 10 Apr 2022 07:57
Noon Position: 24 50.7 S 074 29.7 E
Course: NNW Speed: 6 knots
Wind: NE F3 Sea: slight
Swell: ESE 2m
Weather: cloudy, warm, humid
Day’s Run: 140 nm

The wind picked up as forecast and at 1450 we were back to 50% jib and double reefed mainsail. Then, as night wore on, the wind started to ease again so that at 0450 I could set the full jib again. I would have shaken a reef out of the main as well but there was still the upper part of the starboard lazy jack line fouling the head of the sail so I had to leave that until later.
By the forenoon watch the wind was down to a gentle breeze and while the sea state had not yet subsided to match the wind, it had smoothed out sufficiently to allow me to climb the mast without it being too much like trying to ride a bucking bronco. The first thing I did was to take a light line aloft, unfoul the top part of the lazy jack, and rig the light line as a runner through the eye of the top part of the lazy jack which is permanently secured to the mast. With the lazy jack disentangled from the mainsail I could then set the full main.
Then I lowered the lower part of the lazy jack which I had attached to the trysail halyard. In doing so I noticed that the halyard had some chafe in it due to the poor lead in using it as a jury lazy jack hoist. I had been casting around for a line of suitable thickness to use for the replacement for the broken lazy jack line but all the spare line I had was either too thick or too thin. However, I noticed that the core of the trysail halyard was just right. So, the next thing I did was to replace the trysail halyard with some of the new 10mm line I had stowed in the forepeak. Then I stripped the outer sheath off about half the old trysail halyard and used the core to replace the broken length of lazy jack. There was a fair bit of messing around to do this job so I won’t bore you with the detail, suffice to say after about an hour of hanging off the boom and running lines hither and thither, the job was done and the lazy jacks are now fully operational again.
I think the ultimate problem with the lazy jacks is that the boom bag has a lot of windage so when the wind picks up the windward lazy jack has to be hauled up tight so as to prevent the boom bag from flogging badly. This in turn places a lot of strain on the uppermost lazy jack lines and causes chafe where they pass through the various eyes, especially the top one. Personally I am not a fan of boom bags for ocean going yachts. I think they are more trouble then they are worth. I purchased this boom bag primarily as a rain catcher but as it has turned out most of the time when it is raining I have at least one reef in the mainsail and the folds in the bottom of the reefed sail act as a good rain catcher without the boom bag. So I reckon once this boom bag wears out I will go back to a simple sail cover and lazy jacks.
For the next few days we have a forecast for gentle to moderate breezes, eventually veering into the SE, so I am optimistically looking forward to some pleasant sailing over the next several days.
All is well.